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Article
Whose Voice Counts? A Critical Examination of Discourses Surrounding the Body Mass Index
Fat Studies
  • Jenn Anderson, South Dakota State University
Document Type
Article
Publication Date
1-1-2012
Keywords
  • body mass index,
  • health communication,
  • fat studies,
  • weight discourse,
  • weight stigma
Abstract

The Body Mass Index (BMI) is almost universally used by health practitioners and the general public to determine how to classify a person's body in terms of relative weight. The author traces the story of the vocal actors who developed and championed the BMI as it moved from obscurity to occupy a central position in dominant discourse about body size and its relationship to health. She also highlights the voice of a fat advocate who is challenging not only the BMI, but the general dominant discourse concerning the relationship between body size, health, and personal value. The article serves as a call to all communication researchers working in health contexts to carefully consider how their work might reinforce or challenge this dominant discourse.

DOI of Published Version
10.1080/21604851.2012.656500
Language
en
Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Disciplines
Citation Information
Jenn Anderson. "Whose Voice Counts? A Critical Examination of Discourses Surrounding the Body Mass Index" Fat Studies Vol. 1 Iss. 2 (2012) p. 195 - 207
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/jenn-anderson/19/